Beyond the Last Mile: Fonias Juruá Project – an HF Digital Radio Network Experiment in Amazon (Acre/Brazil)

This chapter presents the experience of Fonias Juruá Project which applies digital radio on High Frequency (HF) to provide information and communication infrastructure to a rural Amazon community under-served by regular/commercial information and communication networks. We outline the historical and political background of the project and describe the novelty of the technical solution that is being developed. The beyond-the-last-mile image is evoked not only to acknowledge the material conditions of the lack of Internet connection in a particular locality but mostly to propose a critical framework to address and to question the paradigm of inclusion as an imperative for underserved third world/global south areas. Aiming to highlight the centrality of the spectrum governance and spectrum appropriation for community networks discussion and to foster exchange on the potentials of digital radio technologies as network solutions the project’s experience is situated among relevant historical and contemporary initiatives in Latin America that articulate in different ways – local/community; popular; public; free; illegal/subversive – radio transmissions, Internet appropriation and direct interventions on the spectrum.

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